I work in an environment that uses smart cards to authenticate to a SharePoint 2007 portal. When in a document library and requesting "Open with Explorer", a certificate prompt is given that is not the same type of prompt received when first logging in to the portal.

Standard Login Prompt:

Standard Login Prompt

Open With Explorer Prompt:

Open With Explorer Prompt

If a user selects an incorrect cert at login, it's not a big deal. They close the browser session and start a new one and it re-prompts for them to select the correct certificate.

However, if a user selects the incorrect cert when opening "Open with Explorer", it leads to a UserName/Password prompt. Since we don't use username/passwords, the user hits cancel and then it gives an error stating that the feature has failed or is not enabled. The fix requires that the machine be completely rebooted and then reopening a new browser session where they try again with the correct certificate.

I'm wondering if anyone has a fix that doesn't require rebooting the machine.

  • Clearing SSL state in Internet Options does not work.
  • Clearing browser history/cache/temp files does not work.

1 Answer 1


In the course of actually writing the question and troubleshooting some more steps, I figured it out. Stop the WebClient service via MMC or PowerShell and try the "Open with Explorer" option again. That reprompts for a certificate and the users can select the correct one.

Get-Service WebClient | Stop-Service

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